Is the book Ellen Foster a good book or can it be a little scary too? 

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Kaye Gibbons' Ellen Foster was an Oprah Book Club Selection about ten years ago, and received much praise after it became well-known.  The setting is the American South, and the main character is an eleven year old girl who refers to herself as "old Ellen," an apt description because she has indeed lived far more than any little girl should.  There is a fair amount of tragedy in the book, leading to a bittersweet resolution, as the title character, Ellen, is finally able to rise above the unhappy circumstances of her life when she finds a happy home to shelter her.   The novel has been compared to some of the work of Charles Dickens, in the sense that the heroine is an orphan who winds up being sent from one uninterested relative to another after her mother dies and her father proves himself worthless by neglecting her and/or preying on her. 

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